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tv   Oversight Hearing on President Trumps Travel Ban Part 1  CSPAN  October 11, 2019 4:09pm-6:35pm EDT

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debate next week in ohio. that's sunday at 10:00 a.m. and again 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. online at or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> house committees are looking into president trump's trouble ban, homeland security and customs and border protection officials answered questions from house foreign affairs and judiciary subcommittees. members asked about the visa waiver program and how the departments handled application requests after the president's executive order. [inaudible conversations] >> we welcome everyone to this morning's hearing on oversight
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of the trump administration's muslim ban, i would like to welcome the members of t the subcommittee and oversight and investigations to this hearing. we are happy to be working on this important issue with you all today. i'd also like to thank all of the majority-minority members in staff of both subcommittees for coordination and flexibility while planning this joint hearing particularly given the cancellation of yesterday's vote, i want to note that because of the cancellation not every member is able to be here today, but i did make a point of talking to mr. columns and mr. buck to be assure that they would be okay with proceeding and they assured me that they were since mr. bigg and zeldon will be here, we do appreciate that flexibility and our opportunity to learn more and to
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probe issues about this matter. i really do think the hearing in many ways is overdue for 2 and a half years the administration has been allowed to arbitrarily ban from predominantly muslim countries and no oversight, mr. trump wants to ban muslims entering the united states,he suggesting without evidence that would somehow make our country safer. followed through on his promise only to have it struck down by courts as unlawful. 3 months and 3 attempts and the incollision of a waiver process that appears to be something to create a version of the ban that allowed the supreme court to turn a blind eye to the religious animus.
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the administration claims that the ban is necessary and keep our country safe from terrorists and terrorists yet bipartisan coalition of former national security offices concluded otherwise, according to albright, former senator richard and many others overwhelms evidence demonstrates the ban has failed to advance our our national security in foreign policy interest and is, in fact, damaging those interests, moreover as we will discuss today the muslim ban keeps families apart, and false notion that bad actors are more likely to come fromn certain countries, this is contrary to our american values and our immigration laws. in support of court casessaging the legality of the ban and why i'm an original cosponsor. the legislation would repeal all 3 versions of the ban and
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strengthen immigration and nationality act by prohibiting discrimination base on religion and limiting executive ability to issue future travel bans, today we also delve into the process and likely so since so many aspects of it remain a mystery. the department of state claims that around 5% of waiver applications have been approved but standards for granting behavior are inconsistently across and lack of established roplication process only leads to confusion caused by the inconsistency and lack of transparency. one thing we do know is that once an individual case is referred for a waiver chances are the language and administrative processing for months if not longer, we will hear from some individual who is have been stuck in limbo waiting for a decision. victims of this policy for too
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long have endured separation from their loved ones, some of tthe individuals have missed te birth of a child, unable to start a family, have had to refuse job offers here in the agnited states, the wave of this magnitude must be placed on hold indefinitely unacceptable. discrimination based on religion is unlawful and un-american and until the ban is repealed i will continue to oppose it every step of the way. i want to thank chairman, the former affairs oversight investigation subcommittee for his work in making today's joint hearing a reality and also for his commitment toan holding the administration accountable for its policies actions and statements about the ban. i also want to thank our titnesses especially those who are here today to show how the ban has so deeply impacted lives. although the ranking member of the subcommittee as i mentioned unable to attend today's
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hearing, i would like to recognize mr. biggs for opening statement. >> thank you, madame chair. i thank the witnesses for being here today, before i get into to substance of this, the title of the hearing today seems disingenuous to me f my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to be taken seriously in trump's immigration national security related policies, then the least they dn do is have the titles of hearings accurately reflect the issue. my colleagues have decided to ignore the reality surrounding executive order titled protecting the nation of entry into the united states and instead merely the title of this hearingat today, of course, the7 rscountries in january 2017 tral executive order with those e untries specified by this yountry and the obama administration as countries of particular concern for terrorism pursuant to visa waiver
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improvement and travel a prevention act of 2015. a bill which the democrats allowed to be considered on the house floor under suspension in which only garnered 19 votes in opposition. as the united states supreme court noted about the subsequent proclamation, quote, the text says nothing about religion, end quote, covers 8% of the muslim population. the point of the travel executive order was not to ban all persons or religion to enter the united states, what was it? the point of it was exactly what the september proclamation stated in title, enhancing vetting capabilities and processes for detecting attempted entry to the united states by terrorists or other public safety threats. it is ironic that democratic colleagues holding hearing after 2 weeks of 18th anniversary of
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september 11thwe terrorist attacks, an attack in which foreign national terrorists, exploited u.s. immigration law to gain access in the united states for the sole purpose of killing thousands of citizens, we need to reflect that september 11th terrorists submitted 23 visa applications to the united states governmenti of which 22 were approved. they were approved despite blatant omissions and lies in the applications. it was clear after 911 that vetting and screening was insufficient. in the years since 2001 our vetting has remained insufficient enough to that's we issued immigration benefits to a number of vim who is were in national security risk, for isstance, among others, we issued a student visa to terrorist that settled in texas and fiancee visa that went to california, late last week the manhattan u.s. attorney announced indictment of u.s.
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naturalized citizen on charges of being agent of hezbollah. he entered the united states in 2000 and naturalized as u.s. citizen in 2008 despite having joined hezbollah in 1996 and despite being -- despite being operative, external operation's unit and despite receiving training from hezbollah in 2004 and 2005, it is obvious our vetting and screening was not sufficient. today we sit in hearing which colleagues intend to lambaste the administration. this president promised the american people he would dovein that, he's followed through. of course, no vetting perfect. a fact that the administration recognizes, 9645 includes requirement that now annually secretaries of dh with secretary a state, attorney general, the director of national intelligence update the
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president regarding procedures related to immigration screening and vetting, with the purpose of enhancing the safety and security of the united states. the initial executive order and proclamation based on e the president's power under section 212f as well as the president's foreign policy powers vested by the constitution. made by proclamation over such period as deemed necessary and any cross aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants and oppose on aliens and any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. presidents of both political parties have used many times. proclamation 9654, 8 countries subject to temporary travel restrictions due inadequacy in pae country's cooperation with the united states denty management and information
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sharing policies as well as the wrrorist presence within the countries, one of those countries chad, travel restrictions lifted just 7 months later after they improved sharing processes with the united states. the restrictions are temporary in nature. the travel restrictions for each country range from only restrictions to only restrictions on certain nonimmigrant, the state of hawaii to have travel grounds, the united states supreme court dreversed in finding that the plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on their claim. of course, i agree with those who agree with suggestions such as secretary of dhs john kelly that the implementation of the executive order should have been vetted. it was not rolled out well, communication among government partners was looking and there was confusion. the importance of the issue to national security and thosehe affected the administrative --
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the administration should have done better. but only my democrat colleagues would argue an opposition to heighten security and aliens, president trump promised the american people as the administration would increase u.s.-immigration vetting and screening capabilities, he issued executive order to that effect. it brought revised executive order and presidential proclamation aimed at doing just that. he has been successful in getting the majority of the world's country to allow access to information and actions have made it safer and that i'm grateful. i yield back. >> i turn to my colleague of the chair. >> thank you members of both subcommittees, witnesses and public for joining us on today's hearing, first on muslim ban and long overdue.
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i have a deep love for the united states of america and, you know, as you think about it school children all across this country every day state the pledge of allegiance and in that, they have struck me one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all, as kids we may not have known what that means, as we get older and we learn about the constitution, we learn about our values as americans, we learn it's about those freedoms, those core values and part of that is freedom of religion and, you know, in this great nation of ours, we don't tell people which god to pray to or how to worship and that is, of course, what makes our country great. and when i think one of the first actions that president trump took in his first daystr n office, profoundly went against those values and that's why you saw such outcry all across the
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nation because it does really smack against who we are, we have seen several iterations of that executive order, but, you know, as my colleague mr. biggs pointed out, you know, this -- if we are to be objective and look at the threats and where terrorist threats are coming from and if the intent here was to keep us safer, we didn't see this imminent threat, if i think about, you know, my privilege now as a member of congress, i'm not a lawyer, i'm a doctor, and as such, you know, i won't argue the legal side of this one way or another, but i will look for the facts and that is our job and that is our constitutionalg duty as members of congress to conduct oversight. if we think about the supreme court ruling when s they chose t to dismiss the ban, i'm not going to say they upheld the ban
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but they didn't tosst the ban out, if you look at that descending opinion, justice briar suggested that if there was a waiver process in here that was not actually objectively being implemented, was that in fact, the muslim ban, in my oversight capacity as share, i want to know what that waiver process looks like. i appreciate that state department who provided data bua when i looked at the data, tens of thousands waiver applications only 5% have been granted. i want to know why 95% were denied. 95% of the folks trying to come to the united states for reasons, hardship or national interest that they present national security risk? again, i want to know what happens when that waiver application is sent, you know, into this last box, embassy to
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washed, who makes the decision, what does the process look like, you know, what authority have our consulate officers been given. i think about this in the context of our most important job as members of the congress, not just oversight but aren't the people who we work for, our constituents the people that we represent, i think about one of my own constituents omnia, omnia is a 2-year-old and like many families in districts all across this country got stuck in this and let me share her story, her mother is an american citizen and happened to be in libya omnia was born, her father is libyan, 7 months pregnant and went to consul or office and wanted to come to the united states for second child's birth, the 2-year-old was denied a
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visa. now omnia's mother was told to return to the united states, have her child and then come back to libya and let the process take place. i find it hard to fathom that that 2-year-old didn't face dndue hardship by being separated from her mom. i find it difficult to fathom that the 2-year-old presented national security risk and i find it very difficult given the values that we care about in this country of keeping families you know, it, wasn't in that 2-year-old's interest as well as national interest to keep mother and child together, well, we were able to help out and able to reunite the family, but when i saw them in my office a few months ago, that child continues to have anxiety issues and separation, that isn't who we are as the united states of
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america, so i've talked to my colleagues, they have similar stories to share about their constituents, the numbers of itouses that are being kept apart, the number who want to see their children even temporarily who may be dying who are not able to come visit their children. the number of children who can't see their parents who may be dying, again, that isn't who we are, so i think all of us can agree that we have an obligation to keep our country safe, we have an obligation to have vettingbl process but part of wo we are is values of humanity, values of freedom and when you ban entire countries that really smacks against who we are in the united states of america, so i look forward to testimony of the witnesses, i expect answers to the questions and data about processes,nd denial, et cetera s
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well as approvals and, again, i look forward to looking with you, so thank you and with that that i will yield back my time. >> happy to recognize oversight and investigations gentlemanrs from new york mr. zeldon for opening statement. >> thank you for the chairs and all witnesses that will testify today, proclamation 645, processes for detecting attemptingse entry into the unid states of terrorists and other safety threats, i wanted immigration process in the country that allows people to pursue the american dream legally while also having process that prioritizes national security. we must be mindful that bad actors are also looking to abuse this system. one-third of the fbi's one thousand domestic terrorist cases involve individuals admit
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intoed the country as refugees, it's importanttt when allowing e individuals entering the united states that their documentation anding -- and interrogation ando not poster risk threat to the country, this becomes increased challenge in cases where sufficient documentation is less available especially because of the country they are traveling from. when the supreme court decided trump versus hawaii last year found that the president has the authority to exclude certain aliens from the country for national security reasons based on the country these that they came from, the travel restrictions were limit today countries previously identified as posing a national security risk by congress or prior administrations. ids conducted thorough world-wide review and carefully identified 8 countries that contained a high-risk profile and ensure proper vetting, this includes basic information sharing requests by the u.s. government to verify the address
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or previous residents of refugee or more importantly confirm association with known terrorist group in the region. each country was treated differently based on thest circumstances with issues that range from failure to identify basic documents to high risk of terrorism heavens in each country. there were exceptions and waivers granted onns case-by-cae basis. for example, iranians are still allowed to seeking nonimmigrant student visa, countries such as chad and sedan improved and cooperation from the u.s. moved from visa restriction list. this can prevent attacks against individuals expressing affirmative attempt to harm u.s. citizens. mohamed lawfully refugee with 5 children in last administration in tucson administration, accused of hiding membership in terrorist group. other examples of terrorist that is have gone lawfully through the state vetting.
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naturalized u.s. citizen conducting intelligence gathering in new york in pursuit of gatherings for hezbollah. i would support examining this list on a regular basis to ensure we allowpo countries to have improved, to come off the list and other countries as necessary to undergo review to possibly be added. since january 2017 there have been several revisions to proclamation, roll out of the plan needed more careful ulliberation and resulted in some unintended consequences, the underlying policies was correct, difficult to measure the threats we have stopped as a result of the travel ban, but as a matter of national security is better to be proactive than reactive. look forward to hearing from our witnesses about the vetting procedures and why the countries were specifically chosen and how we can improve the process, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back.
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i would now like to recognize the chairman and rankingki members, first the chairman of the judiciary committee gentleman from new york mr. nadler for opening statements. >> thank you very much, when the trump administration issues first version of the muslim ban in january 2017, it was immediately apparent that it was unconstitutional discriminatory and morally reprehensible. the day after the executive order was signed i along with colleagues in new york, representative of alaska went to jfk airport to try to make sure that those who were arriving would haveke visas entered. it was chaotic and heartbreaking, refugees, people with valid visas and even legal permanent residents were detained for hours and prevented from speaking with their attorneys. but amidst all of the confusion i also observed america at its best, the incredible outpouring of control page and support for individuals subject to the ban by volunteers from all walks of
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life was inspiring. along side the volunteers representative alaska and i help today secure the release of two individual who is were detained by customs and border production because of the ban. one such individual was iraqi granted special immigrant visa for risking his life working with american in coalition forces abroad as translator for 10 years but was now being ordered to leave the country. when i saw that day at jfk gave me great hope, i did not know that people all over the country would rush to the airports that day to unit against this outrageous policy or that courts so quickly and effectively a man mounted to islamophobic ban. the trump administration went back to the drawing board a third time, sadly the inclusion of a phoney waiver process along ceth the naming of a couple of nonmuslim majority countries enough to convince the supreme
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court that the last version of the ban has constitutional muster, we are now moving to the conclusions of that decision. since the supreme court's ruling the ban has t had significant impact on the american communities, support systems and kept families apart, 2019 cato institute analysis, the ban prevented more than 9,000 family members of u.s. citizens from entering the country including more than 5500, the ban provides your waiver case-by-case basis and it's the department customs and border protection official determines that, one, nonentry records hardship to the individual, 2, admission of the individual would not pose a threat to the national security of public safety and 3, admission of the individual would be in national interest. there's anything but, it is trump versus hawaii which upheld
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the third version of the muslim ban as briar noted ordinary way, unquote, and, quote, reason to suspect that the proclamation waiver's program is nothing more than a sham, closed quote. the skepticism is warranted. it's inconsistent with public representations. as we consistently see media reports and as we hear from some of the witnesses today, the cases of far too many individuals languish for months and more than a year in the black hole known as administrative processes. including children remains separated from their families with no recourse.
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muslim ban has not made us safer and weaken us stand following the world and contrary to country's moral and philosophical foundation. the united states has always been and must continue to be a place that welcomes and embraces people of allca religions and nationalities, our country's reputation is a beaocon of hope, tolerance and inclusion, reuniting with their families or seeking a better life has been tarnished by the acts of this administration and ungoing unemploymentation of the muslim ban. accountable for discriminatory policies until they have finally and effectively repealed. i look forward to hearing the witnesses.
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the gentleman yields back. they will be invite today submit their statements for the record. i would also like to note that congressman lowe's and judy have joined them in the audience and we thank them for their attendance. first panel includes two government witnesses on u.s. custom and border protection and the panel followed by nongovernmental witnesses including policy expert on muslim ban and two individuals who personally impact bid this policy, i will now introduce the first panel of witnesses. the assistant secretary, oversees the visa office in washington, d.c., two domestic processing centers and operations at over 20 u.s.
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embassies and consulates abroad. previously worked special assistant to assistant secretary of state consulate affairs and held leadership posts at u.s. embassy and the bahamas and offices in méxico and colombia, he's also served as an officer in indian affairs, state department operation center and on the white house situation room staff. elizabeth newman, secretary of state for state prevention and security's policy at the department of homeland security's office strategy, policy and plans, prior to that, she served as deputy chief of staff to the department of homelandnd security, secretary's john kelly and kirstjen nielsen and also served under the george w. bush administration as domestic counterterrorism and homeland security staffer in the white house and worked for the department of housing and urban development and their department
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of education, between her positions were the executive branch, many years consulting during which he focused on homeland and national security issues and finally mr. hoffman, the executive director of admissibility and passenger program and u.s. and customs and border protection's office appeal operations. mr. hoffman has worked for cbp since 1991, served in various capacities including area port director at los angeles international airport and sea port and served officer seal of operation headquarters director for noninintrusive inspection division and program division for antismuggling division, we welcome all of your distinguished witnesses and we thank them for participating in today's hearing, now, if you will please rise, i will begin by swearing you in. please raise your right hand, do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give
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is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information and belief so help you god? let the record show that the witnesses have answered in the affirmative and you have been seated, please note that full written statements will be made part of the record andn accordingly we ask that you summarize your testimony in tout 5 minutes to help you stay on time we have a lighting system and when you have just one minute left, the light will turn from green to yellow when it's red you have 5 minutes and we ask you to please wrap it up. so we will begin, if you may begin with your statement. >> thank you. good morning, chairwoman, chairman nadler, vice chair and ranking members biggs and zeldon and other distinguished members of the committee, i want to thank you for the opportunity to
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testify today about the department of state's role in implementing presidential proclamation 9645 including vigorous diplomatic engagement with foreign governments to improve u.s. national security, administering exceptions and waivers to the proclamation's travel restriction. the proclamation and strides we made in information sharing and border security with many foreign counterparts have been important factors in strengthening the united states immigration system. the department of homeland security leads this process and worked closely with dhs and other interagency partners and with embassies and consulates overseas to implement the proclamation in consistent manner allowing us to enhance security of our borders while still facilitating legitimate travel permitted by the proclamation's exceptions and waivers.
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first priority when adjudicating all of the applications including those covered by the proclamation is to ensure they are no security risk to the united states. second priority is apply proclamation in consistent manner and applicants are informed of the requirement. third priority to improve the waiver process to reduce the security vetting delays by replacing time and resource and if applicant does not fall in exception category but eligible for visa apart from proclamation, officer would automatically consider waiver based on criteria set forth in the proclamation, the criteria are issuesance of the visa is in the national interest and undue
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hardship and poses no national security or public safety for the united states. the applicant need not prepare second operation will pay additional fee, the necessary information is gathered by the officer at the time of the visa application. the department worked closely with the white house and other agencies on a creation of exceptions and waivers of the proclamation's entry restriction , they are in direct contact with the applicants and best place to assess circumstances and purpose of travel under the proclamation. the required interagency security review is out of necessity conducted back in washington with the assistance of vetting partners from other agencies who have intelligence information. the result of that are then provided back to officers for
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final action. as noted the security vetting requirement has been the longest part of the waiver process. in july 2019 the department and private agencies initiated automated screening and vetting process after first ensure that it was secure, as a result of this vetting as of september 14th of 2019, the department has issued more than 7,600 visas pursuant to waiver of the proclamation, in addition to that more than 5,000 visas were issued nationals of the proclamation countries under exception and 8,830 were not covered by the proclamation, we anticipate the majority of the waiver clearances that are still ongoing which still require some degree of manual review over the next 6 months, the new system is
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intended to increase significantly with speed and efficiency of the vetting process both currently pending future proclamation subject applications while also senhancing the quality of our security reviews. finally i would like to take the opportunity to invite you to visit one of our sections overseas, to see how dedicated professional opinion works to keep america safe and secure while facilitating legitimate travel. thank you. >> thank you, we will now recognize ms. neumann for her 5-minute statement. >> ranking member biggs and ranking member zeldon and ranking chair nadler, thank you for having us here today, 18th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 and since exception dhs has been focused on combating terrorist travel, in those early years after 9/11 i served in
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counterterrorism, breaking down the wall between law enforcement and intelligence information and establishing foundational f licies of our information sharing arrangement fees today, currentlyy i serve at dhs headquarters as assistant secretary for threat prevention and security, i oversee 8 offices of dedicated men and women with combating terrorist travel. criminal organizations, visa waiver program, real id programs and unmanned aerial citizens and terrorism prevention. last friday we released the department's first strategic framework for targeted violence, it states that terrorism remains priority to dhs and along with federal agency partners used multitier approach protection. creates multilayered defenses. the u.s. government has by the grace of god been successful
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preventing another 9/11, you only need look at fbi's case load and recent arrests that we have more to do to increase vetting capabilities. strategic framework to prevent terrorists and/or hostile actors from entering the united states and denying opportunity. our screening and vetting program start with information provided by foreign government in form of passport as well as other data provided by travelers, our responsibility under executive order 9645, information sharing criteria, regularly review every country's performance against those criteria and ensure risks stiming from deficiencies that are mitigated dhs implementation of the security is similar to improvement made to visa-waiver program, the visa waiver program
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expressly required dhs to look at the quality of foreign government information sharing and border security and earlier legislation required passports and lost and stolen passport, widely seen as international o norms and reflected in un security council resolutions 2396 and icao standards and best practices, explain criteria and expectations how they are implemented through official diplomatic channel and today countries from every continent are complying with the criteria. dhs using interagency approved processes, the regular review has also helped -- i apologize, dhs interagency approved process, the process leverages autoor the -- authoritarian data
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and through the routine review dhs and state have seen cooperation with foreign governments. another country helped the u.s. revoke the visas of most notorious criminals including one that was in route for the united states and third convicted individuals committing fraud in visa applications. the regular review has also helped the u.s. promote better compliance with international standards, best practices, 3 countries have adopted more secured passport and access to database for first time and 8 countries remained reporting lost passports. the steps improved u.s. and international security and the travel restrictions that remain in police under proclamation 9645 are there to mitigate the risks posed by foreign government that is have proven unwilling or unable to adhere to
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the criteria. nonetheless, travel restrictions under 2012s are conditional and will remain in place only as long as necessary to reduce national security, when a foreign government addresses unidentified petitions the secretary may recommend rescinding or adjusting the travel restrictions for example, the country of chad made improvements in visa issuance in 2018. by establishing identity management and information sharing criteria and holing rmreign governmentsis accountabe for adhering to them, dhs is modernizing the international ngavel system from one that relies on analogue, passport data to one that takes more dynamic view of risk. thank you. >> thank you very much. we will turn to final witness mr. hoffman for your testimony. >> thank you. chairman nadler, chairwoman, chairman bera and ranking members zeldon and biggs, thank you for the opportunity to testify before today, the focus
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of my testimony action cbp took for one-week period 2 and a half years to comply with executive order 13769, upon receiving the executive order on january 207th, 2017, cbp took immediate steps to prepare policy guidance that complied with the order. cbp worked very closely with the department of state and communicated t with the air carrier and travel industry on multiple occasions, advised them of the actions we took to comply with the order. at our ports of entry, travelers from subject countries were allowed to withdraw applications for admission while other travelers who qualified for exemptions were processed for national interest waivers. cbp took immediate action as necessary to modify policies to comply with various court orders affecting implementation of the order. cbp leadership and officers performed admirably to implement
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the order and ensure all affected travelers were treated with dignity and respect. cbp played prominent role to comply with order for one-week period 2 and a half years ago proclamation currently in effect is focused at the time travelers applied for visa which eliminated impact at ports of entry, thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony. we will now proceed to questions by members of the committees and who will have the opportunity to question these witnesses for 5 minutes and i will begin with myself. mr. ramatowski, we snow that the department of state is able to pose waivers that have been improved and denied as part of the ban, looking at those numbers around 5% are approved for waivers, you say, but the data we received, we being the judiciary and foreign affairs
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committee in july said that the state department can't track and doesn't know the number of individuals currently under review or waiver under the ban; is that correct? >> madame chair, let me first correct the record in terms of the number of waivers that have been issued as i said in my testimony, we are -- we havewa issued more than 7,600 waivers which iswe considerably more thn just 2 months ago, that is due to the change in the security vetting process which makes a significant difference. >> i appreciate that updating, can you tell us about is it true that you can't track or know how many are pending? >> we definitely do know how many waiver, waiver cases areck pending through the system but that number is changing daily as -- >> okay. so the report to the committees was inaccurate in july?
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>> no. it reflected what we knew -- >> all right, changed since then. >> yes, it has. >> it's my understanding really from feedback we received from constituents is there's really no formal process to apply for a waiver, you're saying they're all referred but looks like some officers except supplementary materials, others do not, doesn't appear to be a consistent and coherent policy, is that currently the case? >> no, that's not correct, madame chairwoman, the process had to be created rapidly when the initial executive orders were issued and at that point instructions had to be sent to the field, officer who is did not have familiarity with the process had to be briefed on what the provisions to have proclamations were and the requirements that they should look for.
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>> can i just interrupt because what you just said with the provisions of the application were, is there an application process because that's news to me? >> no, what i said the provision of the proclamation -- >> can you we have a jai mete earlier who met fiancee getting ph.d at ucla, she was born in iran but he's a permanent resident of norway. >> yes, of course, as i mentioned in the testimony, the consulate officer will consider waiver application with every visa application.
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it's automatic process. >> there's no application, though? >> gathers needed information for the review at the time of the visa application, our visa application asks about such things, purpose of travel, the type of visa that the person is seeking and if the consulate officer needs more additional information they have the application right there to asker for additional information. if that information isn't available at the time the consulate officer can allow the applicant to obtain whatever information we are seeking. >> this is all discussion. i will just say this, all of us want our country to be safe, there's no -- i mean, there's no exception, every member of the committee and this audience wants the country to be safe, however, some of the examples have been given here today with terrorists, the people who attacked us on 9/11, it was
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saudi arabia, they're not on this list, so i'm just struck how this is essentially an irrational process. i mean, venezuela is on the list but only for government officials, no one has been subject to the ban from venezuela. north korea, you know, there have been 57 waivers granted from north korea, russia has attacked us in the last election and they are not on the list so seems to me signaling out these countries whose residents are primarily muslims as the basis for assessing threat is essentially irrational but what we want to do is to make sure that anybody who is coming from any country doesn't pose a threat and not really make that on the basis of, you know, where you were born or what your religion is. i mean, how a 2-year-old would pose a threat to us is a mystery
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to us and it's very difficult to find these out and i'm wondering if we can't come up with the process to keep us safe without causing so much harm to american citizens who have family members who were born in some of the countries on the list. my time has expired and i want to set a good example, i will recognize mr. biggs. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. ramatowski, the way i understand it when someone applies for a visa from one of these countries they're automatically reviewed to determine whether they qualify for a waiver, is that accurate? >> yes, that's correct, sir. >> so nobody is going without -- they don't need a new application because they are getting reviewed already? >> yes, that's correct. it would make no sense to apply for a visa and then say you don't want a waiver.
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>> right. so i'm looking back to 2015 law, some on the committee certainly on the other side of the aisle voted for it and it listed in there two nations, iraq and syria, would be effectively have a travel ban on them, right? are you familiar with that? >> from the -- >> 2015 -- >> yeah. >> and then dhs secretary came in and added several countries to the list, right? so you ended up with -- on that list that was under the obama administration, iraq, iran, syria, yemen, libya and sedan, right? >> that's correct. >> and somehow when president trump issued his it suddenly became outrageous policy with phoney waiver process, that's what i heard from the chairman of the judiciary committee earlier today and yet the trump
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administration didn't just pull these names -- these nations out of a hat. it was using the same countries basically as the previous administration with the addition of north korea and venezuela. so it's interesting to me to hear this kind of inflammatory language being used, so does the immigrant visa application change for any of these countries vis-a-vis any other country in the world, mr. ramatowski? .. .. don't. and with that adjudication process.
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>> anyway have there have been any countries that provide information such as is requested that but for which the u.s. cannot trust the information so the u.s. asks first some of this information from other nations but we can't rely on it. >> not just in this effort at all of our screaming and setting at first we seek is best prejean possible but for example when we are sharing we are not going to accept certain countries watch list because we know they have dissidents on this list so you have to evaluate by country to determine their information. >> can you give us maybe some of the countries expand on the reasons that you don't accept
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their information quite. >> i think i would give one example of north korea who is currently not participating or cooperating with us on any of the criteria the information sharing our identity management criteria. one of them is you are giving us a samplesp of your passport. we need that to be able to detect fraud so you have experts and you can figure out possibly if someone might tamper with it and if we don't have that it's very difficult for officers tofi determine whether it's real or not. north korea does not share their exemplars witht those. they do not cooperate with any of the requests associated with their management and information sharing criteria. >> mr. huffman how does that department of homeland security benefit from the cbp?
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>> my point of user the country that worked on the second executive order 13780 a lot of the work done under section 5 made significant improvements in the vetting process. >> going back to mr. ramotowski are there are automated security screening who would not have been denied under the original screening process to your knowledge? >> i'm sorry congressman could you repeat your question? you are saying under the new process that you just introduced versus the old manual screening process? >> yes. >> those two arel identical. we don't believe there's a difference between the two so the new system is just as secure and much faster. >> thank you. >> i turn now to chairman bera for his five minutes. >> thank you mrs. jared --
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ms. chairwoman. you are the deputy assistant secretary at the state department and the one person at fe state department who would know how the waiver process and the proclamation operates with dhs to that policy. that would be you. is that correct? vivek yes sir. >> grades so a couple of questions. i have had the opportunity with her consulate offices in multiple countries as well as going to see them trained and you see these young men and women who represent and serve our country every day in the training they go through the language training the simulations etc. they know these are men and women who are doing the best job possible to protect our country but also represent the values of our country both here and abroad so is this not a reflection on the work that they are doing? the proclamation states
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consulate officers have the discretion to grant waivers. is that correct? v that is correct sir. >> i do believe they have sole discretion since the proclamation was issued? >> yes i do. >> he makes the final i guess-no decision whether or not someone receives a waiver? >> the waiver process mr. chairman is based on free -- three review prongs. the consulate officer makes the decision on the first two which is the national interest and undue hardship. the consulate officers unable to make independently the third decision without referring the case back to washington because the security review takes place back here. >> to you in washington make that final determination? >> the final determination is not made in washington on that case through what washington does is conduct a deep dive intensive review of each case
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and then any results derogatory results of that review will be provided back to the consulate officer. >> again i would imagine for any visa applicants let's say coming from india ordi any other county we would have a security vetting process would we not? >> that is correct sir. >> of the vetting process, does that agent and non-travel ban countries have the ability to clear that security? >> no, all the clearances are sent back to washington. it's called a security advisory opinions and if our initial automated checks at the time of these applications reflect any potential derogatory language the case sent back to washington for a detailed hearing and review. up until this new modernized system was introduced the
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proclamation cases got an extra deep dive intensive manual review that other cases in other countries did not require. that accounts for the lengthy delays at the beginning in the waiver process. >> with the new automated process is it your sense that delay, you will close the gap between the seven countries that are part of the band versus the non-travel ban countries? >> yes and it's making a very significant difference. the information that the committee cited earlier from our earlier layers about 5% of the number is considerably higher than that now. >> would you be able to to provide the two committees the latest updated numbers? >> yes. i have it in my testimony that we can provide it to the committee. >> in addition when we are
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thinking about this and again we want to have a thorough vetting process. we want to keep the bad guys out of the country but those folks don't just come from seven countries. they can come from anywhere. we want to make sure consular agents have thorough guidance and have that ability to make those decisions. when it goes to the visa office you know again in that process who makes the final decision to grant the waiver or is it all automated? >> it's not all automated. again mr. chairman and applicant will apply for the visa. step one is for the consular officer to evaluate all aspects of the application and is that individual qualified for the visa that they are seeking.
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if they are not the proclamation or wherever is not considered but if they are the consular office begins the process that i outlined. first they reviewed to see if this case is one of the exceptions that the president permitted in his proclamation and the consular officer -- officer considers it a waiver. if it's undue hardship which quite frankly the consular officer has the ability to deny that. >> if i could just ask her one piece of information as well. of the denials is it possible to provide this information for why these visa waivers were denied? >> we have general information on that mr. chairman. unfortunately our visa system was not designed with this waiver process in mind. we are operating on legacy systems that we got many years ago so most of the consular officers information is included in narratives in the database.
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difficult. >> you possible can you provide us the information? >> thee gentleman's time has expired and we now turn to the gentleman from new york. >> as mr. biggs pointed out the list of countries is a list born out of c the past, past administrations. the last administration when they were coming before congress talking about security concerns that they had with these nations we all republicans, democrats liberals were all working together with the administration with their national security concerns that they wanted help with addressing, identifying predominantly these nations. we have currently seven countries on the list. to argue in majority muslim countries. 92% of the world's muslim population is not included on this list.
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of the top 10 majority muslim nations in the world, top 10 only two of them are included on this list. and there are concerns with the individual countries that leads to the current administration coming before congress just like the last administration did because the c countries still he issues. serious is still in a very bad place. in serious you can argue is a worse place than it was during the last administration, totally destabilized. our great employees working hard to execute vetting for our country don't have a partner on the other side to contact your partner in the sitting government with the yemeni government.
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i have some documentation i want to verify. i want to make sure it's accurate and i have a question. there are a lot of countries all around the world where we have the ability and the documentation is verifiable but we have applicants coming from certain countries where the country has been completely destabilized to the point where we don't have a willing partner and the documentation can't make up for the extra vetting that is now required. yemen wasot overthrown by libya. as i mentioned with attacking this current list north korea and venezuela aren't even majority muslim. so i think it is really important at this hearing take place. i think it's really important that you are here for the discussion to bee had for americans to understand the vetting component in these countries that are on the list are countries that have been significantly destabilized by factors that impact our ability
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to vet the applicants if he can walk us through the vetting component as it relates to to documentation its earliest interrogation and how do you make up for a lack of documentation and how do you make up for a lack of a willing partner from that country in order to ensure that someone is safe and can someone speak to can someone speak to that betting peace as far as making up forve lack of documentation o properly vet someone? >> happy to take that sir. in the security realm we deal with shades of risk. some of the members had spoken to the fact that we have individuals that have made it into the country and carried out attacks that were not in the seven countries. we are very cognizant and the administration has taken steps building on the steps and
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groundwork laid by the obama administration to strengthen our vetting system. we have made a lot of progress and the vetting apparatus as my colleagues have testified to focuses on being able to identify the individual. we do that by graphically and we try to do it by metrically in making sure the person presenting is who they say they are comparing that against any information we can get whether that's our c information or foreign government information. the challenge with the seven countries which we have been reviewing and while initially yes the countries were based on a 2016 law and a recognition that we were concerned about those countries ability in government we have sense implemented a very robust process of identifying the criteria where looking for countries to it here to in order to ensure that we are comfortable that they practice
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good identity management and share information with us that will help us detect whether that individual trying to come here is a child sexual predator or a terrorist. there is no bulletproof situation. anytime we allow someone into our country that's a risk that we as a country are willing to bear because that is the foundation of our country to ryinvite others to join us. but we want to do it with risk in mine. we know terrorists have intent to attack our country and we believe that this effort under proclamation 9645 has security because we are not talking about what otherwise is kind of boring , information sharing protocol. no diplomat gets excited about going to their counterparts in saying hey you really need to do better in check your database. as we focus on what we said we have to get the basics right.
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we are now attempting standards across-the-board. >> the gentleman's time has expired but i will note there have been several references to the visa waiver program improvement and terrorist travel prevention act of 2015. for the record that did not deny visas. it just requiredou those who cod be subject to the visa waiver program to apply in person instead and it included not just nationals the people who had traveled to an area where isis was an active military and i would ask unanimous consent to include a copy of the visa waiver program improvement in terrorist travel prevention act of 2015 noting it included iran iraq and syria on the order in
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question here today. >> madam chairman. >> do you object? >> i don't object to the comments surrounding it. you made comments no problem with coming in as part of the record in your comments are certainly made part of the record but there is not an appropriate way quite frankly for me to respond to those. i think that's important. >> with unanimous consent they act will be made part of the record and we will now turn to the chairman of the judiciary committee mr. nadler for his five minutes. then i think you madam c chairm. ms. neumann he stated that countries are on the band because we not -- cannot trust the information. i don't really understand something about that.
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can we trust the information from russia? >> i believe what i said respectfully is the way in which they managed their identity management and the types of information they share in many cases they don't share with us brings a certain amount of risk. >> does russia share breathing with us? >> with respect to specific countries that have to move into close classified session. >> you can watch say yes to that question? >> as it pertains to proposition 9645 i am not at liberty. >> how about china? do we trust information from china? >> with respect proclamation 9645. >> china and russia are not predominately muslim countries are they? >> the department of homeland security does not assess that. >> come on.
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china and russia are not predominantly muslim countries. you can look it up in eight encyclopedia britannica or wikipedia. now i think i understand. mr. huffman i want to discuss the initial announcement of the trump administration's muslim ban that included our airports. you are in the leadership of cbp in january of 2017, correct? >> that is correct sir. >> were you or anyone else in cbp shown a draft of the first muslim ban executive order 13769 issued on january 27, 2017? >> no, sir. >> were you involved in discussions that would harm muslims from entering the united states? >> i wasms not. >> it sounds like next a no one was consulted. inspector general quotes we had an opportunity to provide input and drafting the eo end quote
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even worse the ig report revealed two days before the ban was signed at king commissioner mcaleenan actually received a detailed summary from congressional staff. what would be an executive order rather than receiving this information from the white house? was any of this information either a summary shonta the commissioner for the executive order shared with dhs shared with front-line cbp staff? >> can you clarify your question sir? >> did any of this information either the summary shonta the commissioner and the executive order shared with dhs and was any of this shared with cbp staff? b not my -- to my knowledge. the cbp was unable to make preparations for the individual ticket of order. the executive order was signed
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on friday january 27 at 4:43 p.m. an afternoon. was anyone in leadership given advance warning that the order would be signed or would need to be implemented immediately? >> not to my knowledge. >> a policy change that indicates cbp is it unusual for cbp to be kept in the dark in this way? >> it's a typical. usually it's not something that's going to be formulated policy that we would get feedback. >> so it's unusual. what usually happens when a new policy is announced that impacts an opportunity to provide feedback? >> mcwhorter can tell you sir is when the second executive order 13780 we had a comprehensive rollup strategy. work closely with the department. >> that's the normal procedure?
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>> what i can say is we are pulling out an orderly -- >> the input on the first iteration of the band the fact that the executive order was in place immediately is a surprising in its implementation caused mass confusion and chaos at ports of entry? >> i wouldn't say caused chaos. it was a challenging application because it was in a real-time environment and apply to real travelers as they were in their travel cycle. i don't believe there was any chaos. >> with her confusion? >> i wouldn't say there was confusion either. >> then he wouldn't say the obvious. given the consultation planning was there anyway the chaos could have been avoided? c. vaxxer i would not call it chaos. within our facilities there was no chaos. yet remember we get 1.1 million travelers a day and two or 300 on any given day. although this was significant work for us at the time again in
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our entire mission -- >> my time has expired. >> the gentlelady from arizona is recognized for five minutes. >> think you madam chairman. i'm perplexed by the title of this hearing. the title is oversight of the trump administration's muslim ban and as it's been said a couple of times here the people that come from the countries that are off the travel ban only make up 8% of the muslim population in the world. if the intent of the trump administration as my democratic colleagues contend is to ban muslims dared doing a pretty darn poor job of it because 92% are not advanced. all i can think of is that once again week after week multiple
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times a week bashing the trump administration trying to influence the 2020 election. all that is happening in here in this committee day after day, week afteray week from the party of impeachment. they want to impeach president trump. they want to impeach cat and not. they want to impeach anybody and everybody that seems to be conservative in my opinion. so i have a question for ms. neumann. ms. neumann how is the mission of the u.s. o department of homeland security, how is it benefited by the executive orders and subsequent proclamation? >> thank you for your question congresswoman. i noted in t my oral testimony d as the secretary highlighted in his strategic framework for targetedor violence that
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partnerships including our information sharing relationship are critical to countering terrorists however the usg regularly prioritizes its diplomatic engagements on information sharing and other priorities and this is a good thing to have little competition amongst the u.s. agencies but this effort has allowed the department of homeland security tube bring highlighting to our colleagues at the state department embassies and foreign partners that sharing information for purposes of border security if you will is very critical to ensuring all of our safety and it has allowed us in the department to better prioritize our technical assistance. i think one of theri things that might be getting lost as we are talking about the program is we are able to use this tool is an assessment to identify deficiencies and follow along
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with engagement. we spent most of our effort on engaging countries and encouraging them to strengthen their capabilities to make the connection to interpol and in some cases it's a long-term investment advancing some other systems. by having the systematic routine deliberative objective review process we are better able to prioritize their own technical assistance and work with it department on assistance. >> thank you. do any of the other witnesses want to comment how you think the proclamation executive order las actually improved our national security? >> i thank you. as i mentioned earlier it's my understanding a lot of the work of the second executive order 13700 section 5 in particular
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made significant enhancements in having access to real-time classification data and having real-time access for applications and it's my understanding that led to the creation of the national vetting center is well again providing real-time classified information to ensure adjudicators have access to that information so they can make informed decisions when they do critical vetting work. >> thank you and i will yield back my time. >> the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from washington is recognized for five minutes. >> think you madam chairman that i did want to say in reference to the chaos and airports even while it may not have felt that way to cbp i can tell you at our airport i was one of the first members to go the seatac airport and it was absolute chaos including partly because we have hundreds of people who were so
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stressed by what they were seeing in people who were being turned away you were able to aclu and the port commissions a help we were ableo stop the plane that had people that were being incorrectly turned away. we are able to get some people back but it was absolute chaos and the human impact was devastating for green cardholders and refugees and others with lawful status. i want to go to the question. my colleague from arizona said 92% of muslims are out of the band and therefore it's not discriminatory that i want to make it clear to everyone that not everyone in the discriminated class has to be discriminated against in order for someone -- something to be discriminatory. let's talk about the original countries and i understand chad is not there anymore but the eight original countries, six of the eight are muslim majority countries in the two that are not venezuela and north korea have very different way for rates. this is the point i want to go
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to pick this up. court upheld their third iteration of the band largely on the waiver position that was going to keep the ban from being a blanket and non-muslims. so mr. ed buck their three fact years -- mr. ramotowski the u.s. would not prove a national security threat and their admission to the u.s.. >> there is no process for an individual to affirmatively apply for a waiver and provide documentation on these three factors, correct? >> that's part of the visa application process. >> so the answer is no there is an affirmative way. according to the most recent reporting on the muslim ban the state department has ruled on nearly 38,000 applications between december 8, 2017 not over 31st, 2018 correct? that's from your report. >> that is correct.
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>> according to that same report the state department has granted waivers in 5.1% of cases, correct? >> at the time that is correct. yet that's on page three the state department's report and among iranians the approval rates for a waiver is 1.3%, correct? >> at that time. >> as of march 2019 the approval rate for north koreans was 72% correct? >> yes congresswoman. >> in terms of venezuelan zero venezuelans have been subjected to the dam so they wouldn't have to be considered for a waiver, correct? >> that'st correct. only government officials that are covered. >> overall the state department is granted as 5.1% of waivers according to your web site yet among the only two non-muslim majority countries subject to the ban the waiver approval rate is 72% are not applicable
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because no venezuelans have been subject to the band ban. meanwhile the waiver grant rate foro someone from iran is 1.3% syria 5.4%, libya 7% so by definition muslim majority countries are being discriminated against unless you believe all the people that country deserve a very low waiver approval rating. >> congresswoman as i mention in my testimony we have significantly updated the date on this. they report that you are quoting from his almost a year old. >> if i can just interupt you i would love to see that data. it was supposed to been posted already. december 82017 to march 31, 2019 so it's 90-year-old but it is old and we should have an
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updated report. it is not an web site and i rould love it if you would provide me with information. are they significantly different to what i quoted you? >> yes they are. 7000, more than 70,600,000 waivers have been granted which is more than double what the total was at that time. >> and was the total number? >> the total number of waivers? the total number of applicants from these countries. you have to look at how many people applied to these countries. as saying it's double doesn't make any sense if you'd doubled or tripled the application. >> i've date on that. approximately 31,334 up to september 14, 2019. we have data by country if you want to look want to look at that and we have information on a number of waivers issued in the country if you'd like to go
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through that. for example waiver issuances for yemeni amount to 4031. there were 700011 cases. >> it's impossible for me to let that i would love to have those numbers in hand because as of this morning that report was not posted. i would love to receive that information so i can calculate the percentages myself and be aware of exactly how this works and make sure this is not targeting muslim americans and their families. >> the gentlelady's time has expired truglia e2 provided the information. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. >> that would yield to my frienw and colleague. >> i appreciate that someone yielding. i can't let this go too much. as we fight to adhere to the five-minute rule this is almost
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inconsequential in some respects except that it iss a rule. there hasn't been one member across theer aisle who has stopd there five minutes on time. it isn't just the bare asking a question going overtime to allow for a witness to respond. they are actually making comments sometimes as much as one minute and one minute and 15 seconds beyond the that's interesting to me. just pointing out for effect but this is the way this has been. i want to ask, someone said how about china? why are they on this list? that was the implication. my question to you ms. neumann when we start talking about china and russia can you tell us , maybe you can't in this nonclassified setting but can you tell us what do they provide
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you in response to your information sharing request? >> thank you for the question. i cannot talk about specifics but if you will allow me to explain the process that we go through a thing that might help answer it in a roundabout way. we are required to continually monitor the country's capabilities. on a 180 day cycle we are working with our partners to request information from all countries across the globe about their meeting of the criterion we have talked about this. we have to set an information setting criteria and management criteria and a national security risk picture that comes from the intelligence community. those are identified public information. will make go through the process
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of up dating how people are doing we are asking questions like if we see people reporting arcia country reporting lost or stolen data to interpol. they are reporting back to us on the status of their country adherents to this criteria and we are collecting information from operators from interpol itself or how are customers and border protection officials are seeing certain trends perhaps fraudulent passport trends or other crime trends. we take all of that and we assisted with a rubric and i'd be happy to close the setting to brief on that rubric and on the other side of that you have how a country is doing in meeting those criteria. to talk about an individualte country we would need to be in a
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classified setting. >> under the obama administration dhs secretary to the statute has been brought into the record. he gave a list of countries and did not mention rush hour traffic and it makes one wonder were they adhering to the processes that the obama administration felt were appropriate five years ago vis-à-vis where they are today? has there have been any significant change or necessity for rush are trying to be added as the obama administration did not see fit to include them on the list? >> again i'm going to make my comments agnostic . at the end of our process we report to the president and the secretary makes recommendations whether any of the countries
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that are currently facing travel restrictions have improved and can be removed from travel restrictions or if their status is changed in some way. we also report we have determined the country poses a significant risk to the united states because of its deficiency it's at the time the president makes a decision about whether to exercise the capabilities. we run this process every six months and i think you can -- >> you can make assumptions. >> that they are not efficient. here's what i can tell you. everybody has improved and we are working hard including the visa waiver program or we are very concerned about our european partners which is why this body passed the 2015th visa waiver program back to make sure all the tools in our toolkit are applied to this challenge.
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everybody has room to improve is how i would answer your question. >> the gentleman yields back. >> just a point of privilege. i was in response to a question asked during my time. i had a minute and a half before my time. >> we are trying to be on time but without a heavy gavel during this hearing to the gentlelady from minnesota ms. omar is recognized for five minutes. >> i thank you chairwoman. mr. ramotowski you've been with the state department for 33 years. >> only 33 years. >> do they sign memos? >> that would be atypical. >> has it been typical for so's
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to publicly resign in protest? >> there have been foreign service officers who ever signed in the past, that's true. >> in june of 2017 between the second and third version of the muslim ban more than 100 signed a memo that said quote banning travelers from seven countries were called some of the worst times in our history. christopher richards who resigned in protest of the muslim ban said in an op-ed that consular officers were not able to issue waivers on their own and they had to get approval from the state department. with that du? do you give that approval? >> no, that is not correct. the consular officers make the decision on the first two prongs of the waiver. past interest in undue hardship and the interagency security
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review provides guidance on the security prong. >> is the white house involved? >> not at all. >> anotherth former ss who resigned in protest over the muslim ban toldss "cnn" that soe officers quote felt pressured to approve as few folks as possible for the waiver. she also said the muslim ban had quote reworks by layers of your essay with people distracted by the next thing you can be easy to forget it isn't happening. it looks like congress hasn't forgotten and madam chair i have signed testimony from four former is fsoc lead like to enter into the record. >> is entered into the record by unanimous consent. >> thank you. ambassador john foley who went
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to -- said he could no longer represent president trump and still hold true to the value that makes this country great. among the policies he listed was the muslim ban. in the end how many diplomats and consular officers signed the memo protesting the ban? >> i don't have an exact number for you w congresswoman. >> that would you be able to give us that number? how do you respond to his claim that the consular officers had to get clear waivers with your office? >> i would say as i said before that is not correct. the consular officers make the determination on the first twowo prongs of the waiver, the national interest in undue hardship and the security check as i testified is conducted back here in washington. >> you are saying his claim is
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false? >> which claimed? that the consular is making the decision? that is not correct. >> had you respond to ms. gardner's claim that the officers are exclusively pressured to deny waiver as? >> we are not implicitly or explicitly pressuring anyone to act in any way contrary to the law. >> how do you respond to ambassador foley's claim shared by all the people who signed the memo that the muslim ban is a but we are -- betrayal of american values? >> the ambassador certainly entitled to his and opinion on that. obviously it's very clear this policy has many components but fundamentally it's designed to try to keep the united states safe. >> and our other two panelists
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was stephen miller's rule a reiteration of the muslim ban? what was his roll? >> i'm not aware of any role played by stephen miller. >> he was not at the department in january until late february. >> what instructions were dhs and the state given to the white house on w how to implement the muslim ban and? >> i wasn't given any instruction from the white house >> maam i was not at the department in january of 2017. >> the department was not consulted on the first executive order. >> the gentlelady's time has expired to return now to the gentleman from north dakota mr. armstrong. >> thank you madam chair. mr. ramotowski you were talking earlier and i understand this.
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we have three car accidents a week in north dakota we jump to the highest percentage of the country because we have 750,000 people so we are talking about percentages. my first question is how many people from north korea q have - >> very few. when we are talking about a 72% waiver rate i'm just going to go to 100. it would be like 72 people. >> something like that. who has the fewest in what country is the fewest number of waivers granted? >> according to the date i have from september 14 of this month north korea has five waivers and fees is issued under the exception to the proclamation. that's the smallestt number. .. absolutely correct the
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entire group doesn't have to be discriminated against but i also agree with the correlation and we are talking about this, it's been referred to constantly as the muslim man by putting anyo anyone, i mean, in addition pakistan 13 percent and 11 percent and, i mean, in tot total, our worldwide muslim population. if you are dealing with this in that manner would it make sense, that was your ultimate goal to have them in or on the list. >> i would defer that to homeland security. you and i know you can't speak ms. newman, to a specific about any country but these are supposed to be temporary, correct. soon i guess her. >> is more involving a marked information sharing. we know check them off ofin the list but what countries have to do to work to get off of the
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list. >> we have a rubric and again we'd be happy to brief you on some aspects of that but across the variety of criteria and the broad categories of identity management and information sharing. we would need to see improvements and were not looking for a goldve standard which is maybe look at the sanders for a waiver program as the cold program. these are kind of minimal capabilities that we are looking for a country to have. again the purpose it's not clause of anything other than the need to know the passport iting presented is the individual that it says it is. and we didn't know the individual in their home country has a criminal record or is the known or suspected terrorist. the sun what this. comes down t. we need to tell us about this person, a relationship with you in order to be able to have that conversation and you have to have a certain basic infrastructure to be able to do
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those tasks. student would be fair to say that countries are bad actors and other ways. this is the very specific thing. so even if countries are bad actors in other ways they can be compliant here. correct. sooner correct. this is the tailored tool to prevent terrorists and serious criminals from being able to gain entry into our country. >> so when we talk about iraq, one of the things we forget is that we have a relationship with eric for good bad or indifferent, we have been in country for well over a decade and that's one ofes the reasons, outside of their government, interacting, we actually have knowledgebase in which to deal with individuals who are applying. >> that's correct. we take into account as we are doing this assessment that kind of relationship that may get us access to information to be able to those identity checks. >> have a contest that somebody like sharon, everybody's favorite former fbi director actually testified in front of
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this committee in 2015 and he said that we can continue only query against that which we have collected. and so someone has not mayday ripple in the pond in syria, in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our databases, we can clear w our databases until the cows come home. that was his staying i might. but nothing will show up clause we have no record of the person. you can only query on what you have collected. with respect to iraq, this is where it goes into the refugees and relationships. if you don't have any information, we are talking about moving to the washington and the third prong, if you don't have any information at all, you cannot have any identifying marks on somebody who has going through this process. next.appens >> for the third calling, thees waiver process the cases brought back to washington electronically. giving an intensive screening by various partner agencies, and
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the law enforcement and intelligenceou communities. we can briefef you in more detal than the classified setting but that is f exactly the responsibility is. to try to see is there anything on u.s. government holdings, that might be derogatory and might representative for that. thank you. >> has experience. german from new york. recognized for five minutes. >> thank you manager. only the back to january 2017, as stated by kollek chairman nadler, he was at jfk airport. the chairman was there at with a not a member of congress, i deplored to a terminal within jfk where i was the only member of t congress, three people come from the muslim and countries were being detained. there was a student from nyu
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which is being received by one of her professors, life-saving research at that university. it was being detained. there were two other family members of the armed forces that were waiting for them. a mother and wife. one of the members of the armed forces that was meeting the relatives there, refused to speak to the press or any of us until he spoke to one of his superiors. he wanted some guidance as to what was the protocol and the member of the armed forces before he spoke to the press. or any of us. i see that underscores that as a that he has to our nation. we were assisted by a new york city office of immigrant affairs in new york city, and eventually theseai cases were resolved. i entered the facility mr. hoffman, assay facility
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clause they had all of the characteristics of a jailhouse. i was approached by members of thed other parties and surroundd by them. a constant and surrounded by them. there was about seven of them. around me on my face as i advocated for these three individuals. what is your protocol. within your department, i know you were not briefed on the implementation of this new muslim man. you may have been in disarray. but i was a constant and surrounded by members of your department. if a policy when addressing someone is advocating. a respective member of congress, an attorney, community organization. is there a policy mr. hoffman that humanely you advocate for folks being detained. every two members of our armed
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forces. you have a policy for that. >> so we do have a policy for congressional engagement essentially members of congress, hard to advise congressional headquarters and make arrangements to get the courtesy to make arrangements for visiting a point of interest. we are entitled to speak to superiors. >> for customs and bert border protection, you do arrive at one of our facilities and we know that you are there, we should give you the courtesy to come out and speak with you. >> is there a way in which i could communicate with one of the superiors. i was denied that opportunity. >> sir like i mentioned,po typically as a protocol in place where>> by your contract congressional affairs in washington dizzy dc and they
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will make arrangements and advise you that their coming and you will have the right representative there is a fourth. >> i am 5-foot nine, i was surrounded by folks who work in your department that i suspect were over 6 feet tall, seven of them over 200 pounds, and i don't ever carry permit weapon nor held i held a weapon in my hand. do you perceive me to be a threat to them. >> so i can't speak to that specific instance. i understand your frustration and i don't know what happened so i can't speak to it. >> them adjusting for the market manager that in my first two advocate for three folks including a student nyu high school. in college. in two relatives, are members of our armed forces, i entered what looked tos be a holding facility in a jail. i was surrounded and accosted by members of custom and border patrol.
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i was denied my right to contact one of their superior. i felt that that was a very threatening moment not just for me, or for any american. >> gentlemen years back. lady from texas this recognize providers. >> good morning and thanks were witnesses for comingod today. the muslim man is dead in my view, another tactic in this administration as he is, of anti- immigrants policy. this man is impacted several of our districts including myy area in texas. and for the record, let me state it may be the witness doesn't think it was chaos, but certainly the inspector general thought itth was. the international airport in houston, was in my view, complete chaos. there was news reports and all of those beginning of the van from all around the country in
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the world. so indicate so hard for me to believe that we have witnessed today that is denied that. and in my district, some of this confusion, some of the fear, and some of the frustration still exists. we can situate who stopped in my office waiting to help her be set. and she says these are direct quotes. petition more than two and a off years ago, my wife changed when i met myif now fiancé. we decided to apply for the k-1 visa shortly after becoming engaged insh turkey. much to ourtu dismay, a month after we apply for the visa, the muscleman is expanded included k-1 applicants and since then, have not been able'v to be withy fiancé. the embassy where he had his interview for the 14 months ago, this no response as to when this petition will be approved. petition is still in the
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administrative processing with no change orti update. since july of 2018. i tried reaching out to the senators but no luck. i received a message from senator cornyn, saint texas senator, applying president trump his cause and not offering any help for my case. metaphorically it was just another door shut straight on my face. the few years have taken a toll onon the dreams you my faith kes me strong to continue fighting. i employer, is there anything you can do to help my case move towards appeal, and approval i would be grateful. mannan chair, would like her entitled statement which is the focus to be entered for the record. it seems to me there are still a lot of backlog and a lot of distress on so monday people still waiting. i ask each one of you and very quickly clause i'm only going to ask one question. why is it just taking so long.
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as briefly as you can. please made it through. >> the security intensive clearance checks and had to be done in all cases. and again, starting in july of this year, they dramatically improved the speed of that process. >> and we look forward to the steps. >> i would just like to say the one case that you mention if you would t now, >> we have let everybody know know but nothing has or haven't yet. i just wanted to get these made it through. ma'am. >> yes, i share your concern the security checks takes a look really like to.out and again we can get her close session to discuss further. but for a lot of our populations, not just the seven countries, the process takes a long time. we've been working for several years.
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>> star >> all differ for practical services. >> ale the rest of my time. interruptions. >> thank you. i just wanted to y follow up ona question. who at the state, is working on the hundred and 80 days review report. and had a window that you are doing the review of the countries on the man. >> the process that i was describing earlier, we conducted every 180 days. we submitted a report at the president at the endnd of that process. >> earlier you said that the state was not consulted. in regards to the relations of the muslim band. how deep do you know how to
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implement it and what challenges existed clause of it. >> was definitely very challenging. we did not have any advanced notice or consultation about it. >> time is expired, the gentleman from colorado is recognized for five>> minutes. >> thank you manager. i first just want to echo the words of my colleagues that associate with their remarks. the policy we are examining today certainly runs counter in my view to our american values. r-uppercase-letter nation his founding and morality in our humidity. our conception, our nation has been up to the huddled masses who are here to be free the world over. this founding has been a safe haven for those playing from institutions of desiring freedom to worship and those placing an open the american dream and the
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belief that you can make it here if you try. we are all immigrants and it certainly is true in my own instance. i am the son of african refugees yet since the moment that mr. trump was pointed to office he and his ministration has encountered the ideals with the anti- immigrants met policies was like the ones we are crossing here today. the muslim bands is to keep families apart and is one of the administrations first family immigration policies in a litany of policies that follow. i would like to as my calling from texas did, highlight the story of two constituents. zachary and his wife, shoddy semi. this visa application is been held in administrative processing since june of 2018. charlie established is exceptionally run her own rbusiness and are and what she calls in order to move and live with her husband. she is currently living in the united kingdom as a dependent on a student visa while he finishes
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his phd program there. you likely the united kingdom has allowed them to be there together. however their temporary visa status in the uk, is about to expire which will force them to separate. shoddy back to rn and zachary back to the united states. this would cause a much do on undue hardship. it will put their lives into physical danger. it's not safe for him to be in iran. with the completion of zachary his degree drawing near, his father suffering from a critical illness in color colorado omma zachary and shy are on life-and-death with no definitive resolution in sight. i cannot phrase it more straightforwardly that secularly dead after submitting multiple documents shoddy is no criminal history, no assumption of threat or risk should be projected on shoddy simply clause of her national origin or religion at
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birth. it is simply an american to discriminate against an immigrant solely clause of where they came from or the religious beliefs. i share that story clause i think individual stories can get lost in some of the debate that we are having today about the technical intricacies of immigration law and the way in which his presidential proclamation been implemented. i hope that each ofed you will take these stories back to your colleagues. clause these are people who are struggling. they are on what i believed to be as i said and anti- immigrant order. i would ask a few questions and all field balance over time. following up on representative or more his.., as you all know,i think it's been of disconcert already. they require the dh s to report every hundred and 80 days to the president. it sounds as though the prior exchange that that has or haven't is that correct.
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>> answered. >> has that happened every 180 days. >> yes sir. and all those reports republic. >> no sir. >> you can understand the difficulty we would have as members of congress from an oversight perspective when there is a representation at this is being done for security reasons, and apparently those reasons i suspect you know articulating that this would be within the substance of their course. that they being prepared for this present yet none of those none of us have access to those documents. to apprise with or not the fact the department of homeland security is working to ascertain the security procedures from the centers so that the countries can be lifted off of the order. it is a hard argument for us to take seriously. and were not the only ones who have that skepticism. justice expresses as i'm sure you know aware of the recent federal case which she noted the
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results of the administration his due process had not been fully disclosed to the public and that the few conclusions discussed up here to not have justified the bed. documents in another lawsuit, she expressed doubt ind her review of hundreds of countries practices which as you said in your view, takes a long time. it would result in an agency report a mere 17. pages. you can understand why this committee is very skeptical why will continue that we are engaged to today. with that i thank you. >> thank you manager. we've heard a lot about national security here. i think his bears worth repeating that there it's not been a single terrorist attack committed on u.s.. soil by any national of any of the muslim band countries. but we have had our attack by saudi his lebanese and every single case, my colleagues and mentors, from a country that is
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not on the list. so the notion that we can continue trust these effort other governments, work with the stupid people is obviously preposterous. we've heard a lot about a list that the obama administration produced a few years ago. actually iraq was on that list. in iraq it's not now on the travel ban list for one reason. clause influential rockies and the pentagon frantically lobbied the white house the last minute to take them off. it's not clause they are able to work with us to prevent travelers somehow better than these other countries. no stock about a country that is on the list. ron. we do like the government of iran. it isn't a dictatorship and we constantly say that we love the people around. we are on their side that we support their human rights. we know that iran had nothing to and they are actually sworn enemy vices. yet it is our national policy to say to the iranian people even
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as we claim to be on their side that none of them are trustworthy enough to come to the united states unless they can go through this added to approving that denial would cause them undue hardship. i'm trying to understand this. i have in the state department and dhs, is that we are looking for partners in these governments. to help us figure out who can safely come to the united states that we are working closely with the number of other countries to address her security and information sharing efficiencies as you said mr. petoskey. let me ask you about this question. are we waiting for a partner in the iranian government before we allowed and radiant grandmother to come visit her granddaughter in the united states. is that what we are waiting for. >> congressman no we are not in this for the waiver processing exception process exists. the proclamation. >> brands have one of the lowest rates of approval even when the
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officer his fink there should be allowed. let me give you a specific case. layla, and human rights lawyer, iranian rights order. director of center for human rights in iran. she bravely set dependent before revolutionary course. and was forced into exile. she lives in thehe united kingd. she is subject to the travel ban. she cannot come to new york to lobby the united nations to pass resolutions condemning around. are we waiting for an iranian partner, raymond iranian government partner to allow her to come to the united states and spit over your year. >> >> i will refer to dena on the requirements but if her case is pending and security review, we can look into it. i don't have any details of the particular case you race. let me out to this. what specific security checks
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are conducted on iranians the cesareans, he will subject to the travel ban, that we do not conduct on pakistani inns and sallies and lebanese and citizens of countries that actually are responsible for 10t attacks. that is been committed in this country. what checks are we conducting on these folks can anybody made it through that. >> i can partly made it through it sir. first of all, additional lawyers of the president issued, enhanced bedding. these applicants will be checked more closely at the embassy or counselorlo when the first appl. it might be further anti- fraud review or some sort of extra analysis done. if the individual qualified for a waiver, the waiver would be heck and for the interagency
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review back here. that up until july 2019, was a very manual labor intensive time intensive process with partner agencies. we've automated that now in the process is also being used for other applicants. >> we are subjecting these people from countries in the committed no terrorist attacks in the united states. two more onerous, bedding and security checks. on top of that they have to prove unduety hardship. in order to get the waiver and a few from saudi arabia or pakistan coming lebanon, none of that explained to me national security justification for that. >> again, the security checks that have been referred to are also done on nationals from other countries. it is the same process. we would need to go into a
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setting. >> the same process. >> the difference between a waiver situation which all different my colic from state to explain in visa process. >> jim on the time expired and we will go to the gentle lady from florida. >> thank you. i want to just take one second put partisanship aside. you hear from the minority parties monday times and the democrats don't caremo about the safety of our communities. i want to make something very clear. the chairwoman stated earlier, i wake up every morning making sure and thinking of ways of keeping this country safe of keeping our communities safe, it is why i have been advocating for government forms, since i got into congress in january.
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using a muslim band, as a basis for national security. i think it is completely false. monday people have agreed on that issue. i just want to talk a little bit about how this muslim band affects american citizens. they may not look like any of the witnesses in the panel today. but who are american citizens and they are paying the consequences of this ineffective band. on-site little bit about the share family who is syrian and they live in miami. in my community. raji came to the united states seven years ago and lives in miami. he is probably worked his way through the immigration process. and he was so proud we need became a u.s. citizen in 2017, a privilege that i myself have in several members and of my colleaguesnd share that same
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privilege. we are your sentences. we are also immigrants. in may of this year, as she spares for visas to come to this country. but the residence muslim band restrictions on syria, quickly stop the process. reggie his parents were stuck in limbo waiting with no answers. your hard-working people, they are not criminals. they are not terrorists. but they were very confused. after months of waiting, archie's mother finally was able to make it to the united states using her lebanese passport. reggie his father did not have the same luck. in reggie his father remains in syria today. while his family is in the united states waiting. clause of the span, a good family, has been ripped apart and rushdie does not know we need is going to be able to see his father again and a possibility of uniting the family grow slimmer every single day. as we know, the story of the scruff it's not unique.
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impacted hundreds of thousands of people based on unfair criteria. i think that whatri is clear is that the ban it's not simply about stopping people from the muslim faith, is the proclamation that is based on fear. it's not right and it goes against our american values. with each iteration of the muslim band, the bipartisan ipalition of dozens of former national security officials who have worked in both democratic and republican administrations, have rejected a basis that the span was used based on national security. the trump administration department of homeland security, dhs, the d.a. office of intelligence has disputed the benefits of the man which have remained a primary use of the for the span.
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the office indicated that citizenship is an unreliable indicator of the terrorist threat to the united states. nationals of the countries targeted in the first generation of the if it, are rarely implicated in the u.s. terrorism. i want to ask you, my first question. do you disagree with this report and if so, on what grounds. >> the office have an intelligence analysis, can you remind me the date of that. >> think it was back in 2017. i don't have the exact date. r >> i have a vague collection of it i apologize. i did not review that in preparation for the hearing. their independent is the intelligence community member provides their assessment. my testimony and my focus has been on proclamation 9645. which i believe that. [inaudible conversation] >> the focus it's not about
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citizenship the being a determinate of both of somebody is here. are terrorists. working both of the identity or the information sharing that that individual is associated with, is sufficient in order for us to know they are and they say there are. that they don't print pose a risk to the united states. it's hard for me to comment specifically when they can't see the full report. what you read,mo. >> is very clear. it's not a reliable indicator. >> the gentle lady from time has expired. >> thank you for calling this very important hearing and thank you for all of you for being here. it is hard to believe that we are just now getting to the muslims and we do think back when all of this think back on the last two have almost three years, all of the anti- immigrant policy such as been
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rolled out on this administration, it is hard to keep track and shack how the erosion of our values and just how rapidly it has or haven't. these hearings are really part clause they help shedth live on the human toll. policies taken there really is the real human toll. i would like to t briefly ask fr a consent to allow the testimo testimony. >> that went out objection. >> iq. the story from one of my constituents, i am a constituent whose fiancé is in iran. and he was been waiting for this waiver and waiting for her visa, and when you're in that year and a off that they've been apart, they have suffered financial hardship and emotional hardship and they've grown despondent very depressed, lots of anxiety. the impact to them has been
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really devastating. i have questions about that but i do alsout want to say that we dealt have to sacrifice our values in order to obtain and retain security. it is possible absolutely possible, to be a secure nation and to celebrate in aat folder values all at once. so my first question is, my constituent has been waiting a year and half. why is the process to ease so long. can somebody give me an made it through. >> yes. it took time to set up a waiver process at the beginning. security checks require the intense manual security checks, in order to issue a waiver where you are the largest source of the delay. the beaches say that we are very cognizant of the impact on human beings by this delay and we are
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working as hard as we can to minimize it. >> i understand that there is this idea that the response requires that the state department says each applicant has to wait in line and obviously we know is the very long line considering the wait time that some of our constituents have had to live through. how do you keep track of the order of people in line. >> the jsa congresswoman that we do expedite cases of really urgent humanitarian concern and emergency medical and things of that sort. we regularly contact emcees and consulates and asked them if you know aware of the particular urgent case. particularlyly in the first year of the process, when security vetting was much slower. we wanted them to signal to us that this was an emergency case. and weer would do our best to process that. >> before the nonemergencies though, is it a question of resources, what, i am trying to
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understand. >> is the question of resources and capabilities and partner agencies that have to do the manual research. but as i mentioned in beginning l july, a large part of that is now automated. so just in the past two months, we settled the number of wagers issue. it willil be more going forward from this time. some of been issued today. we expect that there will be a significant decrease in processing time for everybody. >> i've a question about the spokes who were not offered a waiver when you're in the first two iterations and now on the third iteration are they being considered for a waiver. >> we consider any case at any time and congresswoman even if the initial decision is the denial, as an applicant chooses to rely again clause their circumstances are different, we
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will reconsider the case. anytime. spak are we able to have copies of the various rules that have changed the at each iteration? >> can congress get a copy of that. >> the process and policies that you know all using to evaluate. >> yes you did provide an branded guidance and information other directives to the committee in response to the written request from the chair. with already done that. we can brief on the security clearance process and close session if you wouldn like. if there is a case we are more concerned to you, our team is happy to look into that and let you know what is going on with it. spakak officially my time has expired. >> yes back. >> i think the chair for the siri. i think the witnesses as well. monday ofi us have had the stae
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department and department of homeland security before us on monday occasions. as it would like to thank all of you as public servants for the work you do even though the policies of which you know here for, and i believe have no grounding in reality and opposing it difficult posture. let me just quickly indicate the first order of january his 2017, iran and iraq and libya somalia and band suit syria. then we move on to march 6, 2017, iran and libya and syria and yemen. move on to september 24th, erin libya and north korea, similarly in syria and so abuela. let me try to ask the state department were you involved in the reiterations, of these executive orders.
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>> not for the first version of this moment is consequently, there was an interagency process thatas reviewed the executive orders in the proclamation. >> so the rush to do the first one, you know not engaged. >> we had no advanced consultation. >> and as noted by the inspector general of dhs, there was widespread confusion at the nations airport and tender money and within the administration noting that the agencies charged were largely caught by surprise. to customs and borderr protectin his, did you know anything as the first and was issued issue. bangmac no man. i became aware after a signature. >> superior offers and officers at the airport confronted with travelers that have already left
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their departure coming into the united states, lethargy place of of departure and had noe knowledge of a change in policy. >> correct, we had people in real time travel. >> you had people legitimate documents such as a tourist visa who were coming into the united states that would be detrimentally impacted by the muslim band. >> potentially, yes. >> and with that in mind, i know how orderly cbs a1 navarro the law does not put your officers in jeopardy as a dealt with individuals who likewise would've felt they were in jeopardy and might have been impacted in such a way that inappropriate behavior both parts, might occur not knowing what was going on. therefore example. >> no i don't think the officers spirit jeopardy as i mentioned earlier, since it was effective immediately, and we were notified after signature that it
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was a challenging implementation to get the policy. >> divided for the visitors in fear who had legitimate documents. >> i wouldn't say they were put in here. >> let me beg to differ with you. for mohammed abdul, a 16 -year-old who had lived in the united states with his brother who had a green card he was a student, i will call to the airport in which airport who i have great respect for those individuals toe work there for your agency. this individual had gotten off the airplane, innocent child that it was, going home to reduce documents, which he did renew a list for a tourist visa and he was coming and accompany a child with an innocent child, renews documents, clause they had expired, so he appropriately got them back from jordan and an ally of united states states but he was a muslim. he looked every pit a part of
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the diverse american youth that we trained. he was here getting his improving his english but we need was questioned, he looked as if he was going to school here and he was detained. his family could not access him he had a slim fitting shirt, but not caller rolled up jeans big blue watch, just like any of our teenagers. and he was immediately after ayybe staying in a detention cell staying that he was probably fearful for his live clause he is coming here unknown to what is going on. sick to a children center in chicago. my office so long with his lawyers, worked diligently to turn that into a short stay based that the ones that we see in the children in the center today for a year. six months, four months do you believe that he was afraid. >> may be on the circumstances, probably he could very well been afraid that again we treat anyone with dignity and respect
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to eat let them know what is going on throughout the process. in a trust are officers treated than individual with dignity and respect. sensitivity of the case. >> pennsylvania. recognizer five minutes. >> i just want to speak for a minute. i was probably cash i ended up spending that long weekend. i know as long weekend for you, organizing lawyers to go out to various airports. so i had lawyers at jfk, atlanta, in la, and in philadelphia. just as an example of the chaos, and ask unanimous consent to introduce into the record, this article from the philadelphia inquirer from january 30, 2000 2017. it described how the first
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people to land in philly they were subject to the muzzle band were two syrian christian families. but jesus and green cards. they were sick back. clause customsms and border patl didn't know how to deal with it. they weren't allowed access to theirce attorneys. and of course maydaynd large number of protesters outside. several of the other members we have to their experiences of the day. he went to the airport in georgia and was also denied access to folks who were injuring an as is customs, he had a student. just moving to mr. ron caskey, do you have, you told several times with these visa waivers have been granted as of the 76. as of september 14th. and that since the inception. so over 60000 people subject to this man, have applied when
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you're in that time. right. >> approximately the number yes. >> can you give me a more specific number. this was as of march. the number that i have years. >> it's about 72000. >> so 72000 people have applied and you have managed to put out 7600 waivers. roughly half of them in the last sixf months. >> roughly the past two months. >> so again looking at this total numbers. 72000. >> that was the grand total of applications >> 72000 applications minus 7600 waivers granted and then you also said that there've been 3130034 refusals. >> approximately yes. 15000 cases are still ongoing the security process.y
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>> so over 33000 people who haven't had an made it through yet. >> about 15000 of them. >> 15000 haven't got it any made it through. what happened to the other 18000. >> they were denied. it didn't qualify for a waiver. >> are they were denied, the figures i have at the grand total, 12912 were denied for other aspects of immigration law. 7679 waivers, 5137 jesus issued. and the end of the 46334 remaining, we estimate that approximately 15000 of that total is awaiting the security review. >> so 46000. >> the remarriage that would've been divide denied clause they did not fit one of the raver criteria permitted on the
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proclamation. see if that's helpful clause the number was for not adding up in your percentages were not adding up. you said a couple of times that people are having trouble with this. i'm a staff member who has an 86 -year-old grandmother from iran. she is to regularly visit the country to visit her family. she applied over a year ago. we have ten congressional casework from this and no response. who should members of congress or who should the folks waiting for a decision, but these outstanding applications, should they be contacting. >> you should still contact us for an update. >> went on that. >> clause the waiver in the screening process has significantly improved so we are seeing a lot more movement that have been delayed for a long time. >> who is operating this process. it was the final say in
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>> the department of state is implementingng agent. stay at his desk is anon. >> a community ofn artists. those who partner agencies and law enforcement. >> just like the straight computer that you put it in. who has the final say for these people. >> we survey a lot of databases. >> was weak. >> department of state we are the executive agent and this process. >> i have two brief in a closed session but they are part of the law enforcement agency. >> the department of state issues it. it comes back to us. >> i have as unanimous consent that the following statement be included in the record. statement by 19 state attorneys general statements from the american several liver base
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unit. the american antidiscrimination committee, the antidefamation league and embassy international. asian american advancing of justice and the ark church world services counseling americans islamic relations and engaged foundation, national legislation, japanese-american citizens league, muslim public affairs council, national council of jewish women, national immigration law center, jews and muslims and allies acting together, like affairs alliances iran native americans, international refugees assistance projects, the statement from senatoror cues, representative chew on their legislation all the know and a act. that went out objection those statements will be made ark of the record. >> i also would ask a letter dated september 23rd 2019 of a
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variety of national security experts democrats and republicans who have had the highest security clearance on the nature of the van and how it doesn't make sense. >> at that went out objection. we will be in recess for five minutes waiting for other panel club before you leave, i'll just note that the record will be open for five days when you're in which members may ask additional questions of the witnesses and we would ask that you responddi promptly. one of those questions wills. be how we got from 15000 syrian refugees in 2016, 211 this year. only 11 both of that was part of this process or some other process. with that we will be in recess for five minutes and then we will have our second panel. [background sounds]


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